A week after playing eight innings against Jesuit at Raley Field, and seeing the game end in a tie, the Davis High baseball team played another eight even frames in Thursday’s Delta Valley Conference opener against Franklin.
But this time, after the pitchers and defenses shined for eight and a half scoreless innings, Blue Devil Nate Curtis broke things open with a line-drive single to left, plating senior catcher Hudson Forrester for the game-winning run.
The 1-0 victory moved DHS’ record to 4-2-1 on the season.
As the low score suggests, the pitchers on both sides were in the zone Thursday, which batters from both teams found out the hard way. UCLA-bound senior Matt Trask started for the Devils and allowed just two hits in four lights-out innings.
“I was competitive,” Trask said after the game. “I wasn’t pitching for strikeouts, I was pitching for ground balls and that’s what happened.”
Davis’ Brett Bloomfield came on in relief, and threw four strong innings of his own. The senior chalked up three strikeouts in his time on the mound, while surrendering only four hits. He also picked off two runner, both of which neutralized Wildcat threats.
A third senior hurler, Trey Golston, pitched the ninth, inducing three groundouts to set up Curtis’ heroics.
The trio was backed up by some excellent defensive play, as the Blue Devil fielders turned almost every ball hit in their vicinity into an out.
“All three of my pitchers, Matt, Brett and Trey, all threw the ball well (Thursday),” said DHS manager Dan Ariola. “We played good defense behind (our pitchers). (Thursday) was a team effort.”
Meanwhile, the Devil hitters had trouble with Cameron Keup for much of the game, as the Franklin ace expertly utilized a nasty curveball.
Still, Davis appeared to crack the code in the seventh inning, loading the bases with two outs before a strikeout ended the threat. The locals filled the bases again in the eighth, but two more punchouts sent the Blue Devils back to the dugout.
DHS got a third chance in the ninth inning, and it proved to be the charm. Forrester reach on an error to start things off, then advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by junior Quentin McCray. Curtis, who had come on for Jared McNece that inning, was up next and blasted the first pitch he saw into the gap in left-center field.
When Forrester sped home from second, the Devils had cause for celebration.
“We had some good at-bats in the ninth inning,” Ariola said. “It was a good hit for Nate Curtis to end the game.”
The win gives Davis a bit of momentum heading into a Friday DVC matchup at Grant (5-2).
“(Grant’s) solid,” Ariola said of the Pacers, who are coming off of a 4-1 loss to Elk Grove. “They’re another good team. There are a lot of good teams in our league. Every game is going to be tough.”
— Reach Spencer Ault at firstname.lastname@example.org